Statement on the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone by the Chinese Delegation at the First Session of the Preparation Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference
(May 2007, Vienna)
As important steps toward a nuclear-weapon-free world, the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones and the signature and ratification of the protocols of nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties by the nuclear-weapon states are conducive to pushing forward nuclear disarmament and preventing nuclear proliferation, and also of great significance to promote global and regional peace and security. By now, the nuclear-weapon-free zones have covered more than 50% of the global land surface, which not only proves the universal consensus of the international community on establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones but also provides a well basis for the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
China respects and supports the efforts by non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of consultations among themselves and voluntary agreements in light of actual regional conditions. China believes that the guidelines on establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones adopted by the United Nations Disarmament Commission in 1999 still plays an irreplaceable role in the current process of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones and thus should be faithfully observed. China also holds that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones needs far beyond one-sided efforts by the non-nuclear-weapon states. The support and recognition from the nuclear-weapon states on nuclear-weapon-free zones would strengthen its effective implementation. Meanwhile, the recognition of nuclear-nuclear-free zone and the compliance of its rules by nuclear-weapon states would encourage the non-nuclear-weapon states' efforts on establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones.
Since the first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese government has solemnly declared that it would not be the first to use such weapons at any time and in any circumstance. China has committed unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. We hereby call upon other nuclear-weapon states to undertake such commitments as well.
China has all along supported the relevant efforts on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has signed and ratified the Antarctic Treaty and the relevant protocols to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and strictly undertaken relevant obligations.
China has reached agreement with ASEAN on the protocol of the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. It hopes ASEAN and other four nuclear-weapon states could find a solution to enable the protocol open for signature at and early date. China is the first nuclear-weapon state that expressed its willingness to sign the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. It has been written in the Joint Statement of China-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in December 2006 that "China supports and welcomes ASEAN's efforts to establish a Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone".
China welcomes the signature of Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia by the five countries in Central Asia in September 2006. It believes that it is a substantial step toward the legalization of the non-nuclear status of Central Asia.
China hopes that the five countries in Central Asia and the ASEAN countries can reach agreements with the other nuclear-weapon states on the unresolved issues related to the treaties and their protocols as soon as possible, so that the protocols can enter into force at an early date.
China appreciates and supports the measures taken by the Middle East countries which could help the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. It supports efforts made by the Middle East countries to establish a nuclear-weapon-free and WMD-free zone in the Middle East and hopes that this objective could be realized at an early date through consultations.
The Chinese Delegation has submitted a working paper on the issue of nuclear-weapon-free zone and hopes the elements contained therein would be included in the report of the preparatory commission.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.